The remittances of Nigerians overseas are said to have hit $21 billion in one year.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir David Lawal, who disclosed this during a press briefing to mark the 2016 Diaspora Day on Wednesday.
The SGF, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs in his office, Olakunle Bamgbose, said Nigerians in Diaspora are also supporting the Federal Government regarding the welfare of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country.
He said the government has, therefore, approved waivers for drugs, roofing sheets and other items imported by Nigerians in Diaspora to aid youth empowerment.
“This year’s conference will be a complete departure from our past experiences, when our nationals come home only to highlight the challenges that confront our nation. The government and citizens of Nigeria at home are not ignorant of our challenges as a nation. What our nation requires are solutions to specific problems.
“This year’s conference, in essence, will focus on obtaining firm commitments from Nigerians in the Diaspora, directed at solving some of our national challenges. This administration is ready to partner with Nigerians in Diaspora on how they can assist Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Northeast; on how through medical interventions they can improve healthcare delivery across the country and on how they can assist government in youth empowerment and employment generation.
“I am happy to confirm that already, we have received commitments from Nigerians in line with the new thinking. We intend to obtain more commitments during the conference and as follow-up to ensure that such commitments are redeemed,” he said.
This year’s conference is expected to be declared open by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs will make presentations, amongst other speakers.